Friday, November 21, 2014

Glasgow Subway

The Glasgow subway is the third oldest underground metro system in the world after London and Budapest. Construction began in 1891 and the system opened on 14 December 1896. However, an accident on opening day necessitated closing the new transportation system until 19 January the following year. There were 15 stations and 10 cars were purchased before the metro opened and were painted in a plum and cream livery. Today, the cars are painted red -- a similar color to the London buses.

1896 Opening of the Glasgow Subway; photograph courtesy of the BBC

The original route was circular making about a six and a half mile loop and was constructed at an average depth of 29 feet below the surface. It passes under the Clyde river on the east and west sides of the loop.

Glasgow subway; map courtesy of Mike's Railway History

In 1923 Glasgow Corporation took over operation of the metro. Staff wore the same uniforms as did tramway workers and were dark green with black braid. The uniforms had been introduced at the time of Queen Victoria's funeral in 1901. Those uniforms remained in use until 1977.

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